How to Arrange Flowers

Tips for taking care with your floral cuts.

Alicia Rico
Floral designer Alicia Rico, founder and creative director of Dallas’ Bows + Arrows, created the designs featured here. The floral phenom doles out tips for creating and caring for your cut arrangements.

1. Choose blooms wisely.

According to Rico, not every flower does well after it is cut and in the vase. It’s good to experiment. She calls out sunflowers and blooming vines like clematis and jasmine as hearty plants.

2. Prepare your stems.

Before you start arranging, cut the stems of  your flowers and foliage. Remove bacteria-promoting foliage from the stem that will be submerged so the flowers can drink up the water. She stresses the importance of using super-sharp shears. 

3. Create a base.

Rico starts by placing the foliage first, which creates the shape of the arrangement. If you have a good greenery base, you don’t need as many blooms. When watering, fill your vase two-thirds of the way up.

4. Keep it fresh.

To extend the life of your arrangement, give the flowers and greenery a fresh cut and change out the water every day. As flowers start to fade, pull them out and replace with new blooms. Or, as Rico suggests, don’t replace them at all, and enjoy the negative space of the changing arrangement.

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